Thursday, July 15, 2010

Life's a beach

Families are like trail mix: a little sweet and always nutty.
I don't know who said this, but I'm sure someone has.

Don't mistake me. I adore my family, most of the time.

My dad is brilliant, thinks he's really funny, and always provides us with beautiful piano music. My mom takes care of all of us, always thinks one step ahead, and genuinely strives to live out her beliefs. My older little sister is still finding her way in life, but she can always be counted on to offer incredibly wise insights. She can also make me laugh harder than anyone else can. My baby sister isn't such a baby any more. She is the apple of my eye though. Yes, she has started to slip into pre-teen attitude once in a while...but I still think she's just perfect.

The aunts and cousins though....
Well, they are sweet too. But that's where the nutty comes in.

So I had my concerns about the day at the lake--with two aunts, four cousins, and my family. I'd had a long, rough few days and made it clear to mom that all I wanted out of the day was to bask the sun, sit near the water, and lose myself in a book.

I had the sun, I flopped onto a blanket in the grass not far from the water, and devoured the first few chapters of a new book while enjoying a bag of cherries. It was perfect.

Yes, perfect. Which certainly isn't to say that the day was entirely without it's more exciting moments. I managed to burn my entire back, neck to ankles, a lovely shade of hot pink. Only my back though, my front side is pale as ever.
Later, low dark clouds had gathering threateningly in the west and, as we were halfway through birthday cake, a storm blew in. Plates blew, napkins took flight, we gathered under the trees (Yes, under the trees. Don't judge.) It passed quickly though, and picnicking resumed.

But the moments that I savor will be the peaceful, solitary ones I spent sitting on a log at the water's edge. The water lapped around the spiderweb of tree roots; birds made their presence known; and as I sat quietly, once in a long while, a fish would flip right out of the water (just for a second) and splash back in.

Just a few days ago, I had been thinking a passage from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: "Some days are like that. Even in Australia."

Thankfully for every terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, there is a wonderful, delightful, enjoyable, very wonderful day.